Blog Tour: The Lucky Ones (Tiffany Reisz)

Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 7.10.54 PMGood Morning and welcome to my stop on the TLC Blog Tour for The Lucky Ones, by Tiffany Reisz!  This novel quickly rose to the top of my TBR pile when I happened to stumble over a few publicity releases for this novel that compared it to Flowers in the Attic by V.C Andrews. Now, anyone who knows me, knows that Flowers in the Attic happens to be one my favourite books; I am a sucker for the gothic vibe.

Now that I have finished reading, I can attest that The Lucky Ones does have a gothic vibe but, other than that, this novel was absolutely not what I was expecting at all.

The Lucky Ones opens when Allison is called back to her foster home when her foster father, Dr. Vincent Capello, is about to lose his battle with terminal cancer. Heading back to the idyllic beach home after thirteen years away (known as The Dragon) gives Allison mixed feelings. Her memories at The Dragon were positive but short-lived after an accident forces her out of the home and off to live with her great aunt. Known as “the lucky ones” after they were saved by Dr. Capello, Allison is reunited with her foster siblings and if forced to confront her past, but, in doing so, she begins to uncover horrific truths about the family she thought she knew.

First thing first, I did really enjoy the writing style of Tiffany Reisz. This was my first experience with this author and I found her prose easy to become lost in. I had no trouble diving into this novel and settling in. The first chapter gave me a sort of Fifty Shades vibe and I was actually really intrigued to how this was going to tie in with the rest of the novel (it didn’t really…). I still appreciated the ominous tone and the mysterious element surrounding Allison’s childhood.

Once she arrived at The Dragon, the novel sort of began to take a strange turn. It was fairly obvious she was going to have a relationship with one of her foster brothers almost immediately. I didn’t mind that at all. They are foster siblings, not related by blood and, let’s get real; I don’t really have any issue with any sort of strange familial relations in my thrillers. However, I just could not get past the brother/sister references throughout. After they have begun their relationship, they still continuously referred to themselves as brother and sister and that started to really give me a WTF vibe.

Initially, with the bits of mystery/suspense blended in with some romance elements, I thought maybe this would become more “thrilling” as the plot developed but this absolutely teetered more into the romance genre as the novel wore on with the mystery moving into the background. I didn’t actually mind this because I do like a romance novel every now and again and, by the end, I ended up enjoying how unique the tale was; I truly have never read anything remotely like this before. However, I think that readers expecting a mystery will be disappointed.

So, if you are a fan of dark romance, then this may be up your alley but if you are looking for a hard-hitting, suspenseful mystery, this may be lacking.

Thanks to the author, the publisher and TLC blog tour for a copy of this novel; it was a pleasure to provide an honest review.
Advertisements

Blog Tour: Perfect Death (Helen Fields) @Helen_Fields @AvonBooksUK

Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 7.00.21 AM.png

Good morning and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Perfect Death by Helen Fields!

This book, the third in the series featuring D.I Luc Callanach, finds our hero facing one of the coldest and most calculating killers!  Alongside the newly promoted DCI Ava Turner, a serial killer has Edinburgh firmly in his grip. The killer is taking his victims and engineering slow and painful deaths by poison, with his victims entirely unaware of the drugs flooding their bloodstream until it’s too late.

But how do you catch a killer who hides in the shadows? A killer whose pleasure comes from watching pain from afar? Faced with their most difficult case yet, Callanach and Turner soon realise they face a seemingly impossible task…

Fantastic right?  On my stop today, I have an extract to share!

Keep reading to check it out!

Continue reading

Book Review: The Girlfriend (Michelle Frances) @kensingtonbooks

Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 8.15.08 PM.pngI try to avoid reading reviews pertaining to titles that are in my current TBR pile but, by the time I was ready to dive into The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances, I had already read several reviews and the reviews of my fellow #cjsreads members. And, in this case, I feel like it really helped me prepare for this novel.

Marketed as a psychological thriller, I didn’t really feel like this one had a whole ton of “thrills” in the traditional sense.   Instead, I felt like maybe this one would have been better marketed as a domestic drama or maybe contemporary family drama.   There was no lack of family issues, manipulative girlfriends or overbearing mothers but I did find this one to be missing the fast-paced, twisty-turny type plot that I expect when reading a psychological thriller.

The novel opens with Laura, the woman who has it all (a successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband and a handsome, doctor in training son), who quickly becomes disgruntled when her son begins to spend all his time with Cherry, a real estate agent from the wrong side of the tracks.   Cherry wants to be welcomed into the family, but Laura suspects she is not all she seems.

From the first pages, this one had a lighter vibe to it and that didn’t bother me at all.  I have been finding myself feeling a little “weighed down” by all the heavy, dark, thrillers I have come to know and love.  I welcomed the break in The Girlfriend.     Initially, I was able to breeze through the novel quite easily but it ended up taking me a long time to finish when I started to find this one a little bit too predictable and the characters generally unlikeable.

In the end, this one missed the mark for me in regards to the plot but I did enjoy the author’s writing style and found that easy to digest.  I feel like with a different type of story, she probably would have had me hook, line and sinker!

I think fans going into the novel expecting a thriller, will be highly disappointed.  However, if you like a domestic drama, then this would be better up your alley!

2.5/5 stars.

Thanks to the author and the publisher for a copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

Keep reading to see what Chandra and Jessica thought of this one!

Continue reading

Book Review: Unraveling Oliver (Liz Nugent) @SimonSchusterCA

Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 7.03.10 PMAs I have mentioned before on Clues and Reviews, I struggle with serious cases of FOMO! As soon as I see other bloggers reading (and loving!) a particular book, I make sure that I arrange my schedule so I can add that book to the top of my TBR pile and dive in! This was the case with Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent.

When this one published last year, I was oozing with jealousy as I read reviews from other bloggers comparing it to some of my favourite books (You by Caroline Kepnes and Perfect Days by Rapheal Montes). However, this one released in Canada much later, so, when I was finally able to dive into this book, I was ecstatic and filled with anticipation. Was this a well-written book? Absolutely! Was it entertaining? Completely. A solid debut? For sure! Was it everything I thought it would be? Not exactly…

The novel follows Oliver Ryan, a handsome and charismatic writer who also happens to be a sociopath. After beating his wife, Alice, into a coma, Oliver reflects on his violent acts and, in the aftermath, his neighbours, acquaintances and friends of the couple try to understand what happened and what forced this man to unravel.

First and foremost, I did love the many differing perspectives and found that Nugent did an amazing job at ensuring that the plethora of characters did not become confusing. Her narrative voice remained fluid and even though there were multiple characters, it never felt disjointed. I loved the fact that all types of characters were given a narrative voice that represented all stages of Oliver’s life. I found this refreshing and a well-rounded and intimate way to discover a character. I truly did feel, by the end of the novel, that I knew Oliver inside and out.

The multiple characters were one of my favourite features and, at the same time, it was kind of where Unraveling Oliver lost me. I felt like this novel, unlike You or Perfect Days, was more of a character study. In the other novels, I was able to get a first hand, continuous look at how the protagonist/antagonist was feeling due to the singular, first-person point of view. I was able to get into the mind of a psychopath. In this novel, I was able to understand the character but it lacked the gritty and unsettling details. I also felt like halfway through, I started losing interest. I realized he was a sociopath, he was clearly a messed up guy but I just felt like it went on too long with the multiple perspectives.

Don’t get me wrong, I felt like this was a spectacular debut, it just wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. If you like a dark character study, then you will absolutely enjoy this novel. However, if you prefer something a little more unsettling, this may leave you wanting more.

4/5 stars.

Thanks to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for a digital copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

Book Review: Look for Me (Lisa Gardner) @LisaGardnerBks @DuttonBooks

Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 8.07.57 PM.pngDetective D.D Warren is back and, this time, she has brought Find Me’s Flora Dane with her for the ride in the ninth instalment of the Detective D.D Warren series by Lisa Gardner, Look For Me. I loved Find Me so I was thrilled to find out that Flora Dane would be back in this D.D Warren novel. I found her character completely fascinating and loved her “kill or be kill, seek revenge” attitude. Fast paced and intricate, Gardner has done it again with her newest publication!

The novel opens with a family of four savagely murdered, a teenage girl, Roxy, is missing and police desperate for leads. Is Roxy in need of help or is she the perpetrator? Detective Warren is on the scene with the help of her new sidekick, Flora Dane. I loved the banter between Warren and Dane. They really cracked me up and I feel like they will be a brilliant new partnership moving forward in the series. Warren’s serious need for rule following and Dane’s offbeat justice are the perfect juxtaposition.

I found this novel to be incredibly entertaining and I was completely addicted to the storyline but found it a lot less “thrilling” than Find Me. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved the story and I was glued to the pages but I feel that fans of Find Me, who are looking for that same type of FEEL that Find Me had, may find themselves a bit disappointed. Dane is fairly well behaved throughout this novel and seems to be more of a law-abiding citizen. The plot is fairly straightforward, well developed, but straightforward. I didn’t mind this at all.

This is the ninth novel in the series but I had no problems following along (in fact, the only other D.D Warren novel I had read previously was Find Me) so this can absolutely be read as standalone.

A great, entertaining crime read that I think crime fiction fans will absolutely enjoy.

4/5 stars.

Thanks to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for a digital copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

Chandra and Jessica gave this one a read too!  Want to see what they thought of Lisa Gardner’s Look for Me?  Keep reading to find out!

Continue reading

Hey You! Read This! (The Twisted Love Story Edition) #ValentinesDay

Screen Shot 2016-09-27 at 7.15.36 AM

Confession time: I am a bossy book reader.  I read books and then force people around me to read them make subtle and kind recommendations to others.

I cannot help it, I want to share the book love. I want to chat about what I’ve read.

Hence, why I started my “Hey, You!  Read This!” feature. This feature hones in on books I have read and would recommend in different genres and subgenres.  I have done this a few times before and focused on abduction thrillers and domestic thrillers.

Today, in honour of Valentine’s Day, I figured I would take a look at some of my favourite twisted love stories.  You know, boy likes girl, boy stalks the girl, boy shoves girl in a suitcase and carries her around with him.  Aw…young love!

Twisted love stories are some of my favourite types of novels to read.   From unrequited love to family members getting a little bit too close, I always get lost in the psychosis of the main characters and the strange rationales they find to justify their obsessions.   I also find them to be such a quick read!  Each of the novels that made my list were completely “unputdownable”!

Interested to see what I did decide to throw on my list?

Keep reading to see what made my top picks….

Continue reading

Book Review: Force of Nature (Jane Harper) @Flatironbooks

Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 7.53.50 PM.pngLast year, when the #cjsreads trio was formed, our first novel was The Dry by Jane Harper which was an atmospheric thriller starring Federal Police Agent, Aaron Falk. Pretty much as soon as we finished reading, we unanimously decided we needed more of this series and our dreams came true with Harper’s sophomore novel, Force of Nature.

This novel follows Aaron Falk and his partner, Carmen, as they investigate a missing informant from their latest investigation into some corporate money laundering. A group of five ladies went into the woods, four came out and the only one missing is the whistleblower set to testify against her employer and colleagues. There is no doubt that betrayal and deceit were present in this work place but could it have led to murder?

From the first pages, when the women emerge from the wilderness missing a member of their crew, it had a The River At Night by Erika Ferencik vibe and I was all about this. I am not a nature girl myself so anything that has to do with people fighting through the elements and battling mother nature totally creeps me out. Adding the extra layer of personal relationships and the struggle of who to trust was icing on the cake for me.   I think one of my favourite features of a Harper novel is the atmosphere. She does such a fantastic job at creating the setting as an entire character and throughout my read, ng I couldn’t help but feel fascinated by how INVESTED I was in the descriptions of the bushlands. There is no doubt that Harper’s prose excels in this landscape.

Told in back and forth between the women in the bush, fighting for their lives and trying to survive, and Aaron Falk with Carmen, investigating in the present was entertaining even though I didn’t find there too be very many twists and turns. It was a very straightforward story: this is who went missing and this is why it happened. Very blunt. No time wasted.

Overall, did I enjoy this novel? Absolutely! Will I read more in this series? Absolutely! Did I LOVE it as much as The Dry? No, but it was still a fantastic read!

4/5 stars.

Thanks to the author and the publisher for a copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

Of course, the #cjsreads crew read this one as one of our February picks!  Want to see what Chandra and Jessica thought of Force of Nature?  Keep reading to find out!

Continue reading